Paul Lewis | Schubert Iv
TUESDAY 19 MARCH - 7:30 PM
Piano sonata No 19 in C minor, D958
Piano sonata No 20 in A, D959
Piano sonata No 21 in B flat, D960
The last months of Schubert’s life saw his creativity flourish through an unstoppable flow of musical masterpieces. These included the famous string quintet and song cycle Schwanengesang (Swan Song).
As his health declined further, he wrote three last piano sonatas. These were composed together in the summer and autumn of 1828, just weeks before his death. Full of emotional intensity, there’s drama, passion, anger, humanity, beauty, and melancholy throughout these works. There, too, are signposts to his admiration for Beethoven (Schubert had been a pall-bearer at Beethoven’s funeral the previous year).
With his first Schubert recordings in the early 2000s, Paul Lewis anchored a reputation as a new authority in the composer’s piano music. Gramophone magazine described him as ‘arguably the finest Schubert interpreter of his generation’. Performing and recording the piano sonatas has been a constant throughout Lewis’s career, much as the sonatas formed a thread throughout Schubert’s own life, each one transparent in its emotions.
In this final recital of the series, we have a chance to reflect on what led the composer Franz Liszt to declare Schubert ‘the most poetic musician who ever lived’.
Lewis is one of the great Schubertians of our time. Gramophone